I wanted to be excited about my evening out. As a stay at home mom, an evening out with my husband was something to look forward to. Oh I know, I know, it was a holiday party. Although you never know what to really expect, it was a break away from the usual routine of housework, kids, and homeschooling.
“So, what do you do?” asked the woman across from me. She wore professional attire that highlighted her obvious efforts to stay in shape. I tried not to cringe at her question. I was painfully aware of my thrift store jeans and frumpy sweater. My professional attire had been tucked away in storage long ago. Too small to fit the body that reflected I was a mother of five. Attire no longer needed given my last few office experiences had been medical offices after one boy injured the eye of the other, fighting over a book of all things.
I wonder, why is there so much emphasis put upon what we “do” for a living? Honestly I wanted to respond that I read or I write. I pray, or I clean. I clean a lot!
A title of Stay-At-Home Homeschooling Mom never receives accolades. Of course there’s smiles and stiff comments of how it must be nice to be able to stay home with my kids. The stiff tone usually comes with a “look.” You know ladies, that up and down look where you size a person up with just a glance. Down the frumpy sweater and thrift store pants, and not even fully looked back up before I’m sure I’ve been summed up as a soap opera addicted bon-bon eating mother.
No sooner was the party over then I was slowly questioning everything about myself. Questions continued for days. I’d quiet the voice one minute, but a few loads of laundry, demands from the children, failed battle with household clutter, and the voice was back. What did I think I was doing? I wasn’t doing enough! I was worthless!
I know I should have stopped the voice, but quite honestly my tank was empty. I felt tired and overwhelmed. I felt…..unimportant. I needed validation.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thes 5:11
I believe we are supposed to build each other up, and yet there was no word of affirmation or touch of encouragement. Not from my husband, family or friends. My tank sunk below empty.
This week, as we left the carefree schedule of Christmas break to return to our school work, my daughter read. She’s painstakingly gone through beginning reading lessons before, and was slowly progressing. This week was different. She began her reading with boldness, and read each word with slow determination. I silently prayed a prayer of thanks, and felt a gentle peace of validation.
In my daughters resolve to read, I was reminded of my worth. I was reminded that although I can receive encouragement from family and friends, my worth can only come from God. I was reminded what I “do.”
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Col 3:23-24
What do you “do?”